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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  August 15, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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and while the president calls for an end to the escalating violence, egypt's interior ministry instructs its forces to use live ammunition against protesters. ♪ >> the numbers out of egypt are staggering. >> what looks to be a massacre. >> the united states strongly condemns the steps taken by egypt's interim government. >> what type of action can we expect from our leadership? >> we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise. >> probably the least symbolically important gesture. >> there's a tendency to assume that the united states is reason behind the curtain. >> joint exercises, kind of kabuki theater. >> the other part of this is what the president said. >> no mention of u.s. aid to egypt. >> military aid is the best stick we have. >> mohamed morsi was elected president in a democratic election. >> mohamed morsi is less the
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issue than the future of the brotherhood. >> these protests marches seem to be growing. >> now the president has to send secretary kerry to cairo. >> america cannot determine the future of egypt. that's a task for egyptian people ♪ there must be some kind of way out of here said the joker to the thief ♪ ♪ there's too much confusion >> good afternoon. we begin as the death toll from egypt's bloody crackdown continues to rise well into the hundreds now. as the extent of the military's assault on protesters comes into focus and the u.s. gauges its response to the bloodshed. at this hour, health officials report more than 600 dead and some 3,700 injured. figures that are yet expected to rise in the worst day of civil violence in the nation's modern history. but despite the brutal toll, muslim brotherhood supporters
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have ousted president morsi, urged demonstrators to take to the streets once more, vowing to bring down the interim government with mass protests today in cairo and to the north in alexandria. government buildings were set on fire in the city of guiza across the nile river from cairo. even if the interim government vowed to confront, quote, terrorist acts and officially authorize the use of live fire to quell disturbances. a nighttime curfew and emergency law are in effect. and as the potential for yet more bloodshed looms, the president offered his first response to the latest chaos from martha's vineyard. >> while we want to sustain our relationship with egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back. this morning, we notified the
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egyptian government that we are counseling our biannual joint military exercise, which was scheduled for next month. going forward, i've asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as necessary. >> left unsaid, any mention of the united states' $1.5 billion in annual aid. joining us now is amen mow ha dean, nbc news' foreign correspondent live for us in cairo. the horrifying death toll in a single day continues to rise. can you give us the latest grim details? and also can you tell us whether citizens are obeying the curfew that's in force or are they heeding the call of the muslim brotherhood to come out and continue protesting? >> reporter: sure. we'll start with the second question. the curfew has gone into effect. the curfew imposed every night
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from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time. and for the most part it is being abided by. we saw today large crowds of people take to the streets in various parts of cairo and other major cities such as alexandria and towns and villages. so there's no doubt there are people who are still going out to the streets and heeding those calls from the muslim brotherhood and their supporters to protest. friday, tomorrow, is going to be a very big test to that because of the fact that it is the first, if you will, weekend since this massacres there. we'll see what kind of numbers turn out. they are calling for nationwide demonstrations. as for the death toll, that's the grim reality of what is unfolding in egypt. the death toll stands at 638. that number is expected to rise. there are still nearly 200 bodies as we understand it that have been unidentified. they remain in a mosque in cairo that has been converted into a makeshift field hospital so, we
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expect that number to rise by at least a few hundred more in the coming hours, perhaps in the coming days. the egyptian government takes its time in verifying each death toll and certifying those deaths. that's why this tles ooh delay in the number. more importantly, egyptian security if i recalls sofficialy had 43 members of their group killed in addition to others today. by no means the is the death toll final because the violence has not been finalized. martin? >> have you witnessed the use of live ammunition yet by any of the military forces against citizens? >> reporter: the short answer to that is yes, absolutely. there has been substantial evidence not only from journalists but from human rights organizations, from eyewitnesses that live ammunition has been used. and in fact the government today again issued a statement saying that it will now authorize the use of live ammunition to protect government facilities and churches and other police stations, many of them coming
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under attack in the last 24 hours. but there's no doubt in the minds of people from the medical professionals who are looking at the bodies and the casualties, many of them gunshot wounds to the chest and to the head, there are live ammunitions being used, many of them being fired from the direction of the police and security forces when they're in these kind of continfrontationsd clashes with the protesters. >> now, members of the united nations have pointed out that the demonstrations haven't just been against the interim government but is also being used as an excuse by some to attack churches, people, christians of other faiths. is that also something that you're seeing? >> absolutely. there's no doubt about it. you've got to put it in the proper context as to why many people were upset with the senior leaders of the muslim brotherhood who for the last year that president morsi was in power did very little to cool ethnic and sectarian tensions in the country. if anything, they have been criticized for exacerbating
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sectarian tensions in egypt and more importantly in the past several weeks of this sit-in. leaders of the muslim brotherhood continuously imply the christian minority in egypt was somehow a conspirator in the overthrow of the first elected president who happened to come from the muslim brotherhood. and so as a result of that they really fed into the frenzy that now is spilling over into these types of attacks on the christian communities across the country, burning churches, attacking the homes of the christian minority in various villages and towns. that is extremely dangerous. but many people are pointing the finger squarely on the shoulders of the senior leaders of islamist political parties like the muslim brotherhood for not trying to quell it. now, the muslim brotherhood is simply saying that the military is using this historical sectarian card that they've used in the past to try to foment more public sentiment against the muslim brotherhood and islamists. but yes, we have seen evidence of churches being attacked, accounts of homes being vandalized as well as shops and
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stores that belong to the christian community across the country. >> ayman in cairo, stay safe and thank you, sir. i want to bring in congressman peter welsh, democrat of vermont, with us from dartmouth, new hampshire. mr. welsh, are you satisfied with the president's response in canceling next month's biannual brightstar military exercise? or do you see this as others have as the equivalent of canceling brunch? >> well, it's a legitimate step, but we've got to do more. you know, this was a coup. >> what more, sir? what more do we need to do, sir? >> we need to cancel aid. we need to cancel aid. i mean, the fact is that this was a coup. that's number one. and the law says that we don't provide military aid in the event of a coup. a military overthrow of an elected government. number two, america cannot have any part of this violence that is occurring in egypt right now in supporting the military with this aid, then using that aid
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indirectly to -- on its own citizens is completely unacceptable, and we should not be having any part of that activity. >> and yet here's the problem. you know that egypt is, a, the biggest country in the middle east, and second, the most critical in that axis that we see in an extremely volatile region. if that money is withdrawn, does that not remove any kind of leverage that might exist externally from the united states into egypt? >> i don't think so. and there's two reasons. first of all, the money we provide now is a lot less than what the saudis and the qataris are providing. they are putting in about $8 billion. so the, quote, leverage that we have with that military aid is really incidental when compared to what others are doing. that's number one. number two, there's a downside to the aid being military. it aligns us with the military that got on this coup when they responded to millions in the
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street because of the excesses of the morsi government is now turning its own weapons on its own citizens. and we do not want to be part of that. that diminishes or leverages because it aligns was the military in violence against the egyptian citizenry. >> right. the president said today sometimes democratic transitions take not years but generations. as we look at the region, armed militias in libya, fierce divisions in tunisia, the brutal slaughter in syria that you yourself witnessed because you've been there, if egypt descends into prolonged mayhem, what does that mean for their neighbors in the region? >> well, it's extraordinarily dangerous and extraordinarily volatile. it has implications not just for the region but for all of us. but bottom line we have to have some realistic understanding that there are limits to what we can do. can we micromanage an outcome where essentially you've got some democratic aspirations
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unleashed in countries that have been subject to the strong boot in crushing of power of military governments? so it is going to be messy. but the fact that it's going to be messy doesn't mean that we now go back to the old day where is we basically support the might of the military against the aspirations of the citizens. >> right. we've learned that the u.n. security council will convene to discuss the situation in egypt. is there a confluence of international pressure that could bring this thing back to a civil political dialogue? i'm thinking, for example, if the british government, also considering whether it should no longer provide any kind of aid to the egyptians. >> well, we can't be supporting the egyptian military. i mean, that's just going to make a bad situation even worse. >> but i'm thinking in terms of how do we conceive of a joint unified view from the international community in relation to egypt?
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>> well, you know what we have to do is get the military to step back and agree to there being democratic elections. i mean the hope was that these democratic elections would work, the morsi government blew it in many ways. they were not inclusive. the military has now stepped in and then overdone it. and the question is can we get the military back down through pressure from european allies and even middle eastern allies and take concrete steps towards the restoration of democratic rule. that's where we have to get to. but our ability to influence that is limited. we should use what influence we have. but we also have to look to the egyptians to act with some restraint because it's in their own interests to try to work together and bring peace to their own country. >> indeed it is. as the president said, america can't do all of this. this has to come from within. congressman peter welch, thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. coming up, a busy day, indeed, at the republican summer camp in boston. chris christie throws jabs behind closed doors.
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it's day two of the rnc's annual retreat. this year, the annual summit is in boston, massachusetts, the forget setting to remind everyone why and specifically who lost them the presidency in 2012. yeah, that's him, good old mitt romney. the ghost of mitt hangs over this conference, particularly today's events, which focused on how to attract two groups, the republicans have lost rather badly in the last two presidential elections -- women and young voters.
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this afternoon, a panel called women of the majority retreated to an almost empty room. perhaps because the panel was scheduled to meet at the exact same time as the very important rules committee. earlier, chairman rinse prevus led a talk on radical feminism, benghazi, and chick-fil-a. oh, well. i guess they were born with old soles. joining us is elise hope, president of pro-choice america. with me here in the studio is joy reed, the managing editor of thebrie and an msnbc contributor. joy, in yesterday's forum with newt gingrich and today with the rising stars, both stressed the need to be positive, all the while trashing the president, liberals, the media, and so on.
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why can't they just be positive and be positive as opposed to say they want to be positive and then become utterly negative the way they describe their agenda? >> because the only thing the republican party is positive about is they cannot stand barack obama. it's their uniting and sort of rallying principle. unfortunately for conservativism right now, which is what the republican party is about -- there are few moderates left in the party -- conservativism is defined by what it hates. it currently is defined by opposition to obama, opposition to obama care, opposition to liberals, opposition to -- >> how about opposition to the country? some want to shut down the government and throw 30 million people who might have health insurance eventually, rethem from that. opposition to the country as well. >> it's why it's difficult to attract young people, as well. a lot of what's animating conservativism is this resentment that the generation that benefited the most from the new deal, the resentment that those programs have been
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overtake bin the brown and the black and the poor and people they see as less worthy of sort of the america they believe that they created. so the idea that they resent these entitlements, resent these programs, feel they're enfeeb lg and destroying america, that is what designs them as conservatives. it's very difficult to have a proactive positive agenda other than their proactive i want to cut taxes, for instance, on the wealthy, because they feel that would be better for the country. >> we keep hearing they are going to reach out and there's no such thing as a war on women. that's what we keep being told. let me play you something one of the panelists said moments ago about rush limbaugh, sandra fluke, and birth control. take a listen to this. >> rush limbaugh, the great talk show host, called her a bunch of unfortunate names. even if you look at women voters overall, when you look at the rank of what they care about and what they vote on, birth control is, like, down by, like, making sure their dogs have a good home.
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>> birth control is at the same level as a dog's home. your response, elise. >> well, look, 99.3% of women having on some kind of birth control in their lives. that is something not only that we do take for granted but that we believe we should be able to take for granted. so the more that the party wants to marginalize the reality of everyday women, the less they're opening the door to those women. and i couldn't agree more with joy. look, this big tent has been constructed on tearing things down, tearing down women's rights, tearing down voters rights, tearing down workers' rights. the reason that the party can't sound positive because they are not positive, they're not projecting ayn general da that matches women's everyday lives. women are concerned about how they're going to take care of their kids, how they're going to get equal pay in their work, how they're going to make ends meet, because the reality of most women is we go to work every day and try to juggle our family concerns and that's not something that the gop understands or incorporates into
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anything that they're doing moving forward. >> joy, one of the problems is some people hearing that individual would say she's young, she's not a major player in the party. but i was looking at some of the things that major players in the party have come out with. saxby chambliss, a senator. do you remember during that hearing on sexual assault in the military, he said that happens because of the levels of hormones in men. we had senator jeff sessions saying rape happens because that culture is in his way is a sexual activity. marsha blackburn saying women don't want legislation to stop wage discrimination. >> right. >> i mean, these are all anti-women, these sentiments. >> it's kind of fascinating in a sense that the republican party in a sense is the party of repeal. what they mainly want to repeal is the 20th century, because they feel that the reforms from the new deal on through roe v. wade are what's wrong with america. and i think this notion of women
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being liberated from simply being about childbirth and child rearing, putting women in the workplace where they compete with men, putting women on an equal footing in society is in a sense threatening to their underlying belief system, which is that the primacy of men is part of what makes the family unit work. so, you know, it's difficult, i think, for the republican party to position itself differently with young women who don't vote on birth control because they take for granted it shouldn't be illegal. it's hard for them to form late a message for younger voters because their message really is time for much, much older voters. >> ilyse, wouldn't it be helpful for someone at that event today to say it remains a criminal wrong that a woman gets paid less money in this country for doing the same work as a man? wouldn't that be something substantive for women that women in this country could hear and say maybe this party has something to say to me? >> i mean, i think that's one place to start. but there are so many things
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that this party needs to say for women to believe that this party understands our real lives. this party would also do better to look at realtime data that shows their positions are losing ones. a poll came out yesterday showing how hard the governor in north carolina has been hit not only with democrats but within his own party, not only for the restrictions that he's passed on abortion rights but for the diminishing way he treated the women who were trying to get his attention by delivering cookies. 44% of republicans thought that that was horribly dismissive and disrespectful. this gathering in boston does not seem to be paying attention to current-time events that are hurting their elected officials right now so, i don't see how they're going to do better. ilyse hogue and joy reid, thank you so much. still ahead, today's top lines with a lesson for congressman steve king wishing something doesn't make it so. >> there's no audio or video of either the speaker or the leader
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making a critical comment of me. >> i want to be clear. there's no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials. earlier this week, representative steve king made comments that were i think deeply offensive and wrong. i am alejandro morales, i was seven months old and my family moved straight to chicago. america is the only country i have ever known. senior year of high school, i was promoted to city court staff commander, i held the rank of cadet brigadier general. i was head of chicago rotc. i want to be a us citizen and i want to be a marine, i'm gonna be a marine, because i care. i care about this country. i care about those around me, i care about my family, my neighbors. you know, i do want to give back, i believe one hundred percent in what this country stands for.
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a developing story out of lebanon where a powerful car bomb has exploded. the associated press reports at least 14 people were killed and over 200 injured. dozens of others were trapped in burning cars and buildings. the explosion happened in a southern suburb of beirut that's a stronghold of the militant hezbollah group. in a video statement, a sunni islamist group claimed responsibility for the attack, and it is the second such blast
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that's the power of german engineering. from offensive comments to soiled credibility, here are today's "top lines" we are getting to work. >> doing great. thank you so much for coming. >> people have toll like you're serious about governing and you have positive ideas. >> incredible showing and we're excited to be here in boston. >> what we have to do is be a party of optimism. >> we're getting to work. >> we have to get beyond being ante obama. >> are you okay with obama being on vacation right now? >> as long as we're negative and tear down our opponents -- >> he's the king of golf and vacation ls and it's par for the course. i don't know if he cares that much. we're getting to work. >> what is your positive replacement for obama care? >> it's a little hard to take your criticism seriously. something that's legit mt. mat to address. >> are you trying to pick a fight? >> maybe. maybe. >> do you just not like latinos?
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>> i think it's the republicans that are offering the solutions. >> my statement was narrowly defined not even just to drug smugglers but drug smugglers who are in physical shape to carry 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. >> hang on. go ahead. >> there's no audio or video of either the speaker or the leader making a critical comment of me. >> representative steve king made comments that i think were deeply offensive and wrong. >> it's amazing to me that anyone can interpret anything that has to do with race or ethnicity. >> when e id he said it does not reflect the values of the american people or the republican party. >> we in the gop happen to be republica, in and black. >> did you hear harry reid's latest controversial comments? >> that's a common question. >> he hopes the gop opposition to president obama is based on substance and not race. i think it's a shameful comment. >> the only one talking about race is senator harry reid.
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>> playing the race card. >> he's the one that keeps bringing it up. >> no one else is talking act race. >> seems small and petty. i thought it soured his credibility. >> joining us now is josh ballard, who's political editor at business insider, jonathan altar, columnist for bloomberg view, and jonathan capehart with the "washington post." i'll begin with you, mr. capehart. republicans appear to have a real anger with harry reid who had the temerity to suggest possibly that some of the opposition to the president might possibly have something to do with race. and they act as though that idea is somehow completely far-fetched and impossible to conceive. >> the thing that i find most hilarious is that the republican party -- i shouldn't say the republican party -- certain members of the republican party get very upset if you talk about race. you're playing the race card if you just talk about the fact that race might possibly be why somebody, anybody is angry about
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fill in the blank, whether it's the president, whether it's trayvon martin, george zimmerman, you go down the list. i can't take any of these eruptions on the right seriously when they're talk -- when they're talking about race. i mean, i would love for them to talk about -- to talk about issues of race seriously. it seems like the serious conversations that happen on issues of race come from the center and certainly come from the left, and yet on the right crickets. >> josh, you've got the constant harping about the birth certificate, which we've seen at some of these town hall meetings by house republicans. there was that protest in arizona recently where people are saying bye-bye black sheep and hoisted signs saying impeach the half-white muslim. are we supposed to ignore our eyes and ears? is that what some of these republicans are saying we should do? >> no, but i think the reason this fight is at the nature it is is that a lot of the things that get said not bye-bye black
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sheep but other things that rr subtextual and so it can be a matter of opinion whether the speaker was going after the president's race or not. so i think republicans perceive most of their criticisms of the president as being completely unrelated to race and see this as a personal attack on them. they say, look, i dislike the president because -- >> hang on a second, josh. you're talking about someone like an outgoing senator, tom harkin, who says a colleague of his said the president is, quote, exotic and all his constituents think of him as exotic. what does that mean? >> i don't know what that means. >> right. okay. >> but i think more broadly, i think republicans haven't dealt with the fact that, you know, race is a key component of a lot of the complaints that conservatives have about the president and more broadly against democratic party policies bp but it's only a component of the complaints. and so i think when they try tone gauge in introspection, they look at themselves and they don't see themselves as having racist objections to the president. and that's why they take offense to this. i think they incorrectly see
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these sorts of signs of the tea party rallies as being an irrelevant fringe component of the party rather than being symptomatic of problem that runs through the party. >> john altar, you diagnosed with mental illness in your book. you described it, the etiology of it, obama derangement syndrome. i'm worried it's at an epidemic stage. take a listen to this. >> now, here's how you react to a rodeo clown at a state fair. he's a rodeo clown at a state fair. that's what you say. advance, america. advance. don't you dare retreat. don't you dare sit down. today i declare myself officially a rodeo clown. today i officially declare that we are all rodeo clowns. >> are you ready to sign up for
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glenn beck's, you know, clown college? >> the genesis of this is that harry reid painted with too brood of a brush. the way you say these things is important. i struggled with this when i was writing my recent book because i was cataloging the many, many examples of racism within the republican party, racism on the part of glenn beck and rush bim laug, and there's many of them. but it's very important to say at the outset in order to get anybody to listen to you that obviously not all of the people who oppose even strongly oppose, who even despise barack obama are racist or motivated by racial beliefs. obviously some of them are. you say of course, but it's extremely important for harry reid and others to stay with
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this as a predicate. you say of course most of those, many or even most of those who despise the president are not racially motivated. but a large percentage of them are, and that is affecting this debate. and if he had put it that way it would have been irrefutable. >> do you not think that someone like steve king is actually now seriously compromised mentally? because he says what he says about immigrants, describes them as dog, then he describes them as drug traffickers. then he says nobody has ever said on tape that anything that i've said is wrong, and we produce tape and we can produce any number of individuals. >> yes, you can. but i was just thinking those instances, when republican party leadership smacked back, talk like that are few. that you have on tape a smacking back of steve king is wonderful. but where were those folks when the president's birth certificate was being
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challenged? where were those folks when the fringe elements of the tea party -- and i always took pains to tell people that the tea party itself is not racist. there are fringe elements that have attached themselves to the tea party that were racist. where was the republican party leadership talking about that and how that's corrosive on the party and corrosive on the overall -- >> not only doing it, they were embracing it. >> exactly. >> going on "meet the press" and the mainstream media and saying where was the president born? even mitt romney was engaged in that in michigan. >> i'll take him the at his word that his birth certificate is real. >> and worse. >> yes, and worse. >> isn't it time, josh, whether they're fringe members or sitting congressmen like steve king, that these people realize that this is just pointless and it should stop? >> well, i think that's a fight that's happening within the republican party right now. and i think that's going to be one of the key themes in the 2016 race. when you have chris christie running from the moderate side of the party, one of the things
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that he's done that drives conservatives nuts is is the way that he clearly has very large disagreements with the president but he doesn't hate him personally and has a willingness to work with him when that's appropriate. conservatives got so upset over the hug after the hurricane where you had the photo opportunity of the president and governor christie embracing each other. and part of is that is driven by the fact that there's this huge personal animus toward the president, part of which, though i don't think a majority of which is remitted to racial animus. and i think that christie and certain parts of the northeastern establishment in the party have shown very little patience for that sort of approach. we're going to see in that nominating fight whether they went out in that discussion. >> i look forward to having that. josh barro, jonathan capehart, jonathan altar, thank you so much. up next, thrive martha's vineyard where the president addressed the escalating violence in egypt. stay with us. >> let me say that the egyptian people deserve better than what we've seen over the last several days. and to the egyptian people, let
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begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ it didn't take long for events in egypt to rouse the president from his vacation on martha's vineyard. a few hours ago after speaking with his national security team, the president went to a hisly arranged microphone stand saying the seib l of violence and escalation needed to stop and called on the egyptian authorities to respect the universal rights of its people. kristen welker is live for us in martha's vineyard. the president did not announce a big shift in policy, but he did cancel a u.s./egyptian military exercise scheduled for next month. takes place every other year.
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what more the can you tell us about the military maneuver known as bright star, and how significant is the cancellation, do you think? >> reporter: well, to your first question, martin, this is the bright star military exercise. it day-to-days back to 1980, started after the camp david peace accords were signed, and it involves thousands of usair and ground forces. as you point out, it does occur biannually. so it certainly is significant to that extent. it's aimed at sending a direct message to the interim government in egypt, to the military in egypt. what it doesn't do, though, martin, is to use the largest piece of leverage that the united states has, which is to withdraw that $1.3 billion in military aid. so to some extent the administration continues to walk a fine line in terms of its policy toward egypt. part of that is because it is such a complicated situation on the ground in egypt and of course also in terms of the diplomatic relationship between the u.s. and egypt, president obama touched on that today
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during his remarks. it is of course an important partner in a region of the world that is already quite unstable. but you heard president obama maybe the point that the administration is not taking sides. so certainly there is significance to the fact that president obama canceled the military exercise that was set to take place next month. certainly some people within egypt will be roiled by that decision, but i can tell you that pressure continues to amount from lawmakers on the hill, really for members of both parties for the administration to more seriously consider withdrawing that $1.3 billion in u.s. aid that it gives annually. the administration has said that it continues to review that policy. martin? >> and to that point, kristen, when the president returns to washington next week, do you think that that is going to be the sfral consideration for the administration? is it now time to cut off what is a huge sum of money that the military reigning government inside of egypt is using to
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murder its own citizens? >> reporter: right. well, i think that that has to be the consideration. i know that the administration is already in discussions about it. but the question is what actually happens next and does withdrawing the aid actually bring an end to the violence in egypt, which is, of course, the key goal here. some skeptics say that it won't have the desired impact. so conversations have already begun toward that end. they will continue. i think that you will see secretary of state john kerry continue to play a pivotal role, perhaps even travel to the region. but that $1.3 billion in military aid remains the largest piece of leverage that the u.s. has right now so, martin, they are going to be seriously considering how to hand that will in the coming days and weeks. martin? >> kristen, if we might move back to the vacation for a moment, i understand the president and first lady will have some extra company from today. is that right? >> reporter: you are right about that. malia and sasha have officially
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arrived here on martha's vineyard. they were at camp, so they have just joined up with their parents. of course the whole family will now be here. i can tell you from having covered president obama when he was back here in 2011, he did take a trip to the bookstore with the girls. that drew a lot of crowds here on martha's vineyard. the people vacations here really enjoy that when they step out. it will probably involve a trip to get ice cream, as well, if i were going to bet. >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you. >> thanks. coming up, new bumps on the path to immigration reform. is the gang of eight starring to feel fenced in? stay with us.
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here's senator schumer last week. >> we would much prefer the comprehensive bill but any way that the house can get there is okay by us. >> as you can see, not so confident anymore. i'm joined by victoria defran which he is coe soto, professor from the university of texas, from lehigh university, professor james peterson. senator schumer sounds far less confident now that the house will pass a comprehensive bill. is it too soon to say good-bye to the kind of immigration reform that all of us got excited about and thought might
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well pass at some point over the period of this current president's tenure? >> while i'm still hopeful, martin, i think we're already past that point because the length of time they have, even in this bill, for the pathway to citizenship, i think for me is somewhat untenable, actually. i think it doesn't really get to the core of the issue and the challenges around undocumented folk in this country right now. i think senator schumer is probably dealing with the reality now of the kind of obstacle course that this kind of reform is going to actually require. and at the end of the day i'm hopeful that we'll get something out of it, but it seems to me that this bill is so much more about border protection and about borders than it is about what your real challenges are, which is realizing the undocumented folk who live in this country right now. >> absolutely. victoria, many on the left are pointing fingers at house majority whip kevin mccarthy as is man to blame for the lack of a comprehensive bill, both
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because of his significant role in the house leadership and because of the number of latino constituents in his southern california district. even if they were to sway him to push for a pathway to citizenship, does he now actually have any power to make that happen? >> yeah. representative mccarthy is very interesting because he tends to represent what i think is the bulk of the sentiment in the republican party toward immigration. he doesn't embrace citizenship, but he's open to a pathway to legalization. most folks aren't of your steve king ilk, would say we don't want anything to do with immigration. republicans know something has to be done. but republicans have this fear that if you provide citizenship to latinos in the medium to long term all of these latinos are going to consistently vote democratic and not give republicans a chance and just wipe them out. but the truth of the matter is, and what i hope republicans could think about, is if they do get behind the pathway to citizenship, they could win over some moderate latinos, especially those that are
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socially conservative. and what representative mccarthy has to deal with in the short term, however, is that if he does stand against the pathway to citizenship he may very well lose his seat because you do see about 30% of latinos in his district, and he is not the only one. we know about 14 gop-held seats where you have a sizable latino constituency and a very slim margin by which romney won in 2012. >> yeah. >> so short, medium, and long-term considerations. >> professor peterson, if the republican party in the house, in the senate, doesn't want to get any kind of comprehensive reform, doesn't that mean in practice that they're happy to have a society where there are literally two groups of people, one group that is enfranchised and a stake holder in the community and then 11 1 millioo 12 million who work, who pay sales tax, who contribute, whose
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children goes go to schools here, who make great contributions but actually they are a second-tier, third-tier group of people in the society? >> that's exactly right. listen, there are too many politicians in america, elected representatives, congress people, senators who are more than willing to live in a society where there are second and third-class citizens. this sort of backlog with immigration reform is just one indicator in our system that reflects that. and i think republicans -- victoria is on to something because republicans have to understand that while the preponderance of these undocumented folks may vote democratic or lean to the left, for them to win the kind of elections they have to win, they don't have to have a majority. they have to have a small minority of this population. >> professor james peterson and professor victoria defrancesco soto, thanks so much. with new ' fiber good gummies. they're fruity delicious!
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this afternoon. as always, you can find today's interviews and top lines on our website. that's "hardball" with michael is next. show me the evidence. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm michael smirkonish in for chris matthews. blocking the vote. ever since the republicans won over state governments, we have watched them move the limit voting rights in ways that disproportionately affect african-american voters. so it was of particular interest to us yesterday when senator rand paul of kentucky told a louisville-based npr station, "i don't think there's objective evidence that w
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